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I’ve finally got something to say that isn’t ‘woe is me’. Finally something has gone right.

We’ve approached a new donor and he said yes!

I’ve been so damn stuck with all of this and just couldn’t face the thought of using someone that wasn’t Manaaki. But time is ticking on, it’s a year since he last arrived into NZ, and will be two years in late Oct since we lost our first.

For me, to consider using a donor who wasn’t my wife’s blood felt like losing the babies all over again. That’s hard to make sense of, but I think I feel that finally bringing a little Manaaki baby into the world will help to heal the grief for the other two, make them less lost somehow.

Plus I feel very strongly that choosing a donor who isn’t black would make our children’s lives harder. I want them to feel fully connected with the Caribbean, so they don’t feel like impostors when we spend time there. So they share their ethnicity with both Toku and I.

Toku has been trying to convince me that any baby will do, but I want a child that feels it is connected to both of us, to both of our cultures. I’ve always struggled with feeling like I didn’t belong as I look pakeha (white) but feel Maori. I didn’t want to inflict this on my kids. From a Maori perspective whakapapa (genealogy) is of utmost importance. Connection to land and culture comes through your bloodlines.

So I’ve been very stuck as I desperately wanted to try again, but Manaaki is unable to return from the Caribbean at present. The earliest we think he can come back is April, but that’s only a possibility.

I’ve been walking a knife’s edge of depression for a few months it seems.

On Sunday my beloved, patient, scared-for-me wife sat me down for another big talk. This time something clicked. I hadn’t thought of it before…if we try with someone else in the meantime, it doesn’t mean we can’t try again with Manaaki in the future. I might still get my little Toku one day. But let’s try with someone else first. Eureka.

But, I wasn’t ready to try with someone else who wasn’t black. Now in NZ that’s not easy, there are hardly any black people living here. There are no black donors through the clinics at all.
And here comes another ‘but’…but we knew of two possibilities- and both are from the Caribbean!

One is a lovely distant cousin of Toku’s (he gave her away at our wedding), and we’d thought in the past that he might be perfect, however he is recently back together with a long term girlfriend who is jealous of his relationship with us. Plus he’s very very opinionated and a super hands-on dad with his own kids, so we think perhaps might find it hard not to be too involved with any we had with him.

That left our other option. A guy in our broader circle of West Indian friends that we hadn’t thought of until Manaaki started hanging out with him heaps over the summer. He is a really genuinely good person as we came to see once we spent more time with him. We didn’t think he’d be keen though, but decided it was worth a shot.

We have a close friend in common, who’s like an aunty to us all, so I rang her on Monday to ask what she thought. She said he might just be interested, and said she’d sound him out by asking what he thought of what Manaaki was doing for us, and would he ever consider being a donor.

She rung us last night and said he’d said yes. She ended up straight out asking him instead of just skirting around the topic. He said he’d do it as he could see how important it was to us. What a sweetheart.

He’s 42, born and raised in Jamaica, a former international sportsman, really fit, 6’4″ (!) and built like an ox!

So we’ll meet up with him in the next week or so for a face to face chat about it all, then hopefully get the fertility clinic ball rolling…tests then 3mths of quarantine before they’ll start inseminations. We intend to use the clinic to save the imposition on him of doing home inseminations. Plus hopefully that might help us to get lucky sooner.

Who would have thought a few days ago that we might just be back on so soon?!